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Disaster Management
Publications by Dirk HR Spennemann
 

 

2007
Laidlaw, Prue, Spennemann, Dirk H.R. & Allen, Catherine (2008) Protecting cultural assets from bushfires: a question of comprehensive planning. Disasters vol. 32 n¼ 1, pp. 6681.

Cultural heritage sites form an unrenewable asset that is threatened by natural disasters. Given the high bushfire risk, mandatory Bush Fire Risk Management Plans are drawn up throughout New South Wales. The mandatory provisions for the protection of heritage assets of all plans were compared against an ideal minimal Heritage Disaster Plan which contains a series of nonnegotiable elements. The examined plans were found to fall well short. Preparedness plans generally lacked discussions of suppression techniques (for historic heritage), prevention, prescribed drills and communication procedures. None of the Response Plans or Recovery Plans contained any of the required core elements (such as rapid suppression techniques, stabilisation procedures etc). Where aspects were covered, they were addressed in an inadequate level of detail. The overall quality of the cultural heritage components of the plans is judged to be poor. Suggestions are made on how to improve the situation if heritage assets shall have a future during bushfire events.

Laidlaw, Prue, Spennemann, Dirk H.R. & Allen, Catherine (2007) No time to de(con)struct: The Accessibility of Bush Fire Risk Management Plans in New South Wales, Australia. Australian Journal of Emergency Management vol. 22 n¼ 1, pp. 5Ð17.

Cultural heritage assets define our culture, providing a sense of place and emotional anchorage in space and time. As such they are regarded as assets worth protecting during disasters, including bushfires. Fire can damage cultural heritage assets through flames and radiant heat, and via inappropriate fire suppression activities during and immediately after a fire. Good planning can provide for the protection of cultural heritage assets during bushfires, but the information within the plans must be easily understood. This paper considers the accessibility of the information related to cultural heritage assists in all available NSW district bush fire management plans. Reading ease and reading age formulae were applied to each plan, and content analysis was used to explore the terminologies used, and the style in which the information was presented. The information regarding cultural assets in the plans was found to be difficult to read, replete with obscure terminology, and sometimes rambling and irrelevant; in short very inaccessible, especially in the high stress environment of a bushfire. The paper concludes with advice on improving the accessibility of these bush fire management plans, advice which will be equally applicable to other disaster plans which consider the protection of cultural heritage assets.

Spennemann, Dirk H.R. (2007) ÒThe Enemy from Below" Assessing Salinity Risk when Managing the Future of our Historic Building Stock. Proceedings of the 2007 Urban Salinity Conference. Bicentennial Park Homebush Bay, New South Wales May 2223, 2007. Sydney: Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils. Online. http://www.wsroc.com.au

Urban salinity is an increasing problem that shows little prospect of abating any time soon. When most of our historic building stock was erected some 30, 50 or 100 years ago, the builders did not have to content with high water tables. As result, many structures today lack damp proof courses, making them particularly vulnerable to salinity attack. Depending on the building materials used this impact can be very severe, potentially threatening a structureÕs very longterm survival. As our historic building stock defines many regional and rural communities by circumscribing their history and cultural identity, any loss of historic fabric is deplorable at the least and devastating at worst. This paper outlines the underlying physical processes that lead to salt attack and how salinisation of buildings can be detected. The second part of the paper will review some of the available conservation treatments and will discuss what we know about the longterm viability of such treatments

Spennemann, Dirk H.R. & Graham, Kristy (2007) The importance of heritage preservation in natural disaster situations. International Journal of Risk Assessment and Management vol. 7, n¼ 67, pp. 9931001.

Disaster management for cultural heritage has been gaining recognition as an important issue for the long term management and conservation of these assets. Natural disasters are localised events and have the ability to cause widespread loss and destruction to a communityÕs cultural heritage. The social benefits of heritage preservation are often cited as the justification for developing disaster management plans. These social benefits are generally presented in relation to the disaster recovery phase. However, these benefits are also attributable to the initial stages experienced during a disaster event. Applying these existing arguments to this initial stage may assist to transcend the existing attitudinal barriers and present the issue of disaster management for cultural heritage in a manner which is relevant to the diversity of stakeholders.

Spennemann, Dirk H.R. (2007). Melimel. The Good Friday Typhoon of 1907 and its aftermath in the Mortlocks, Caroline Islands. Albury, NSW: {retro|spect}. 21 cm, iii, 27 pp, ISBN 978 1 921220 07 4

A historic narrative of the effects of the Good Friday Typhoon on the eastern Caroline Islands. The book outlines the destruction wrought on the settlements and the environment, and outlines the actions taken by the Imperial German colonial administration to alleviate the suffering of the population. In part this entailed large-scale relocation of people first to Pohnpei and from there to Saipan.

 

 

2006
Graham, Kristy and Spennemann, Dirk H. R. (2006) Disaster management and cultural heritage: An investigation of perceptions held by New South Wales Rural Fire Service Brigade Captains. The Australasian Journal of Disaster and Trauma Studies. Volume 2006-1 http://www.massey.ac.nz/~trauma/issues/2006-1/graham.htm.

The protection of life and property will always be the priority in any disaster situation. At the same time other considerations often fall by the way side and short-term decisions are made that have irreperable implications on environmental and cultural heritage issues. Anecdotal information and pilot studies suggested that there are a number of attitudinal barriers that limit disaster planning for cultural heritage resources. In an attempt to provide empirical evidence of these attitudinal barriers a postal survey was distributed to Rural Fire Service Brigade Captains throughout New South Wales (Australia). The results highlight limited understanding of cultural heritage issues, limited exposure to dealing with such resources in disaster situations and limited communication between heritage and disaster management agencies. LINK to paper

Graham, Kristy and Spennemann, Dirk H.R. (2006) Heritage managers and their Attitudes towards Disaster Management for cultural heritage resources in New South Wales, Australia. International Journal of Emergency Management vol. 3 nº 2/3, pp. 215-237.

The study of disaster management has broaden its scope to include matters beyond the physical processes. We are now seeing the advent of a new perspective of disaster management, the im¬pacts on society and with authors beginning to document this literature and broadening of focus. Cultural heritage is the manifestations of human activities. It is inherently linked with our identity. Cultural heritage resources are particularly vulnerable to the effects of natural disasters. Although the priority in any disaster situations will always be life and property, natural disasters do not dis¬criminate against items of heritage value. Yet these invaluable resources are often omitted from disaster management plans. Studies have shown the preservation of cultural heritage can assist the community is achieving some sense of normalcy. Anecdotal information suggests that there are a number of attitudinal barriers for disaster planning for cultural heritage. The following study was de¬signed to investigate this current gap in our understanding. To achieve this a self-administered postal survey was designed and distributed to heritage mangers from each local government in New South Wales. The data generated from the study has provided a cross sectional view of the current range of attitudes towards disaster planning for cultural heritage resources. The threat of natural disasters is an international problem, as are these attitudinal barriers to combat the lack of disaster preparedness. Results generated by the study are significant as they provide empirical evidence of the extent of this problem. Although heritage managers acknowledged the threat of natural disasters in their shire, they were considered a priority.

Graham, Kristy & Spennemann, Dirk H.R. (2006) State Emergency Service Local Controllers attitudes towards disaster planning for cultural heritage resources. Disaster Prevention and Management. Vol. 15 nº 5, pp. 742-762

Natural disasters exert a continual toll not only on property and public infrastructure, but also on places and items of cultural heritage value. Whereas infrastructure and modern buildings can be rebuilt, archaeological and heritage sites cannot be restored without loss of integrity and authenticity. Often, the impact of management decisions during and following a disaster is greater then the physical impact of the disaster itself. To assess attitudinal barriers that may exist among disaster management professionals, a study of Local Controllers of the State Emergency Service of New South Wales (Australia) was carried out.

 

2005
Spennemann, Dirk H.R. (2005) Risk Assessments in Heritage Planning in Victoria and New South Wales. A Survey of the status quo. Australasian Journal of Environmental Management vol. 12 no 2, pp. 89-96.

All conservation management plans written between 1987 and 2003 for heritage properties in NSW and Victoria, as well as all heritage studies completed between 1985 and 2003 for local government areas in Victoria were surveyed to assess to what extent natural disaster hazards are addressed. The results are very discouraging, with less then 10% of such documents making any mention of disaster hazards. The extent to which those studies address the hazards is also very varied. There is much room for improvement if heritage is to have a future in the face of disasters. .

 

2004
Spennemann, Dirk H.R. & Look, David W. (2004) Preface to the digital edition. in:Dirk H.R. Spennemann and David W.Look (eds), Disaster management programs for historic sites , San Francisco and Albury, NSW: Association for Preservation Technology, Western Chapter and Johnstone Centre, Charles Sturt University. Pp. vii–viii.
 

2003
Spennemann, Dirk H.R. (2003) Risk Assessments in Heritage Planning in Victoria. I: A Rapid Survey of the Conservation Management Plans written in 1997—2002. Johnstone Centre Report no 185. Albury, N.S.W. : The Johnstone Centre, Charles Sturt University.

Review of all Victorian Conservation Management Plans to assess whether the risks posed by natural disasters are assessed and taken into account in the planning process. The results confirm anecdotal information that this is overwhelmingly absent.

 
Spennemann, Dirk H.R. (2003) Risk Assessments in Heritage Planning in Victoria. II: A Rapid Survey of Local Government Area Heritage Management Plans written in1985?2002. Johnstone Centre Report no 186. Albury, N.S.W. : The Johnstone Centre, Charles Sturt University.

Review of all Victorian Local Government Area Heritage Management Plans to assess whether the risks posed by natural disasters are assessed and taken into account in the planning process. The results confirm anecdotal information that this is overwhelmingly absent.

 
Spennemann, Dirk H.R. (2003) Risk Assessments in Heritage Planning in New South Wales. A Rapid Survey of the Conservation Management Plans written in 1997?2002. Johnstone Centre Report no 184. Albury, N.S.W. : The Johnstone Centre, Charles Sturt University.

Review of all New South Wales Conservation Management Plans to assess whether the risks posed by natural disasters are assessed and taken into account in the planning process. The results confirm anecdotal information that this is overwhelmingly absent.

 
 

2001
Look, David W. & Spennemann, Dirk H.R. (2001) Disaster Preparedness, Planning, and Mitigation. Cultural Resource Management vol. 24 (8), pp. 3-4.

Overview of the contents of the special issue of Cultural Resource Management on cultural heritage and natural disasters.

Spennemann, Dirk H.R. (2001) The creeping disaster: dryland and urban salinity and its impact on heritage. Cultural Resource Management vol. 24 (8), pp. 22-25.

Dryland salinity, and now also urban salinity, have become the bane of much of rural Australia. The human induced natural disaster is caused by alterations of the water regime of many catchments following either massive land clearing or artificial irrigation. Rising water tables dissolve salts trapped in the rock strata and soil column and create highly saline ground water conditions. Historic buildings, archaeological sites and now entire historic towns several hundred miles inland suddenly face marine decay conditions. Foundations are wetted with extremely saline solutions, archaeological sites till in the ground decay because of seasonal fluctuations of ground water tables. Even though the process is slower than that of most natural disasters, the same problems of disaster preparedness and mitigation occur. Because of the slow onset, however, most communities and heritage professionals are in a state of denial, akin to the social phenomena observed for earthquake preparedness.

Hollow, Rosemary. & Spennemann, Dirk H.R. (2001) Managing sites of human atrocity. Cultural Resource Management vol. 24 (8), pp. 35-36.

The paper addresses the management of the remains of sites where human atrocities occurred. Should the traces be removed and a sanitised view b presented or should the places be managed as 'raw' reminders of the past. This issue relates to both human atrocities and to the management of natural disaster sites where human life was lost.

 

2000
Look, David W. & Spenneman, Dirk H.R. (2000) Disaster Preparedness for Cultural Properties. Cultural Resource Management 23(6), pp. 3-5.

Spennemann, Dirk H.R. (2000) 1905 typhoon kills over 200 Marshallese. Marshall Islands Journal 31(13), pp. 14-15.
 

1999
Spennemann, Dirk H.R. (1999) Cultural heritage conservation during emergency management: luxury or necessity? International Journal of Public Administration 22(1), pp. 745-804.

Annually natural disasters cause loss of life, damage to property and damage to the environment. Concomitant is damage to the cultural heritage property, both items and places. Yet in the wake of a disaster containment and response efforts put additional cultural resources at risk--usually due to ignorance rather than malice on the part of the disaster manager or the property owners. This paper reviews the effects of natural disasters on heritage sites and argues for increased awareness and training for disaster managers.

Spennemann, Dirk H.R. (1999) Mitigation of salt damage to the historic built environment. in: Nico E. Marcar and A.K.M. Afzal Hossain (eds), Managing saltland into the 21st century: Dollars and Sense from Salt. Proceedings 5th national conference Tamworth, NSW, Australia, 9th to 13th March 1998. Canberra: National Committee for the Productive Use and Rehabilitation of Saline Land. Pp. 13-19.

Urban salinity is exacting its toll on the historic environment that makes our country towns so different from the sprawling suburbia of the metropolitan cities. Historic buildings are very susceptible to raised saline ground water levels. This paper reviews the nature of the threat and the extent of the impending change, and discusses the relative merits of the various mitigation options available not only in terms of cost to the community, but also in terms of the ethical management of our irreplaceable cultural heritage.

Spennemann, Dirk H.R. & Marcar, Nico (1999) Urban and heritage landscapes. Under the saline threat. Natural Resource Management 2(1), 14-17.

Human-induced dryland and irrigation salinity are major forms of land degradation in rural areas, particularly in southern Australia. Salinity is also impacting significantly on the historic environment that makes Australia's country towns so different from the sprawling suburbia of larger cities. It is not only historic buildings but also formal private gardens and street plantings that are being affected and placed at risk. This is because many plants, especially those introduced to Australia and commonly used in these situations, are susceptible to elevated soil salinity levels. Any changes in the vegetative make up of Australian towns are likely to alter their character. This paper reviews the nature of the threat and the extent of the impending change, and discusses the relative merits of the various mitigation options available.
  

 

1998
Spennemann, Dirk H.R. & Look, David W. (1998) Disaster management programs for historic sites. San Francisco and Albury, NSW: Association for Preservation Technology, Western Chapter and Johnstone Centre, Charles Sturt University. 195 pp. ISBN 1-893076-00-8
[PDF document, Full text, download here ]

 

Spennemann, Dirk H.R. (1998) Conservation management and mitigation of the impact of tropical cyclones on archaeological sites in: Dirk H.R. Spennemann and David W.Look (eds), Disaster management programs for historic sites. San Francisco and Albury, NSW: Association for Preservation Technology, Western Chapter and Johnstone Centre, Charles Sturt University. Pp. 113-133.
Spennemann, Dirk H.R. & Look, David W. (1998) From Conflict to dialogue, from dialogue to cooperation, from cooperation to preservation in:Dirk H.R. Spennemann and David W.Look (eds), Disaster management programs for historic sites , San Francisco and Albury, NSW: Association for Preservation Technology, Western Chapter and Johnstone Centre, Charles Sturt University. Pp. 175-188.
Spennemann, Dirk H.R. (1998) Natural Disaster Mitigation and Cultural Heritage: a course proposal in:Dirk H.R. Spennemann and David W.Look (eds), Disaster management programs for historic sites , San Francisco and Albury, NSW: Association for Preservation Technology, Western Chapter and Johnstone Centre, Charles Sturt University. Pp. 151-164.
Spennemann, Dirk H.R. & Look, David W. (1998) Managing disasters and managing disaster responses: an introduction in:Dirk H.R. Spennemann and David W.Look (eds), Disaster management programs for historic sites , San Francisco and Albury, NSW: Association for Preservation Technology, Western Chapter and Johnstone Centre, Charles Sturt University. Pp. 1-6.
Spennemann, Dirk H.R. & Look, David W. (1998) Preface. in:Dirk H.R. Spennemann and David W.Look (eds), Disaster management programs for historic sites , San Francisco and Albury, NSW: Association for Preservation Technology, Western Chapter and Johnstone Centre, Charles Sturt University. Pp. iii–vi.
Spennemann, Dirk H.R. & Green, David G. (1998) A special interest network for natural hazard mitigation for cultural heritage sites. in:Dirk H.R. Spennemann and David W.Look (eds), Disaster management programs for historic sites. San Francisco and Albury, NSW: Association for Preservation Technology, Western Chapter and Johnstone Centre, Charles Sturt University. Pp. 165-172.

 

 

1996
Spennemann, Dirk H.R. (1996) The role of universities in urban disaster reduction: From discordant soloists to a symphonic orchestra in: UN-IDNDR and QUIPUNET Internet Conference "Solutions for Cities at Risk" 26 August 1996 - 25 October 1996.

The paper review several educational issues on disaster management and concludes that international coopertaion and a sharing of disaster management courses is not only desireable but also invetable in the age of the information superhighway

Spennemann, Dirk H.R. & David W. Look (1996) The impact of the disaster impact managers-from conflict to dialogue. Australian Journal of Disaster Management 11(1), 6-8.
Spennemann, Dirk H.R. (1996) Effects of earthquakes on Wagga Wagga: the 1871 and 1872 events Bulletin of the Wagga Wagga Historical Society 300, 3-6. blockquote>Soon it will be 125 years since the European residents of Wagga Wagga felt their first serious earthquake. The published local histories do not mention earthquakes, which attests both to the scarcity of such events, and to the low importance afforded these phenomena by historians unless major damage and loss of life occurred. This brief article reminds readers of these events by reviewing the information available on the 1871 and 1872 earthquakes and placing it into context
Spennemann, Dirk H.R. (1996) 8 June 1871-The first documented earthquake felt in Albury Albury and District Historical Society Bulletin 345, 3-4.

Soon it will be 125 years since the European residents of Albury felt their first earthquake. The local histories, with the exception of Andrews do not mention earthquakes, which attests to the scarcity of such events, and to the low importance afforded these phenomena by the writers. This brief article reminds readers of these events by reviewing the information available on the 1871 and 1872 earthquakes and placing it into context

Spennemann, Dirk H.R. (1996) Dreading the next wave: non-traditional settlement patterns and typhoon threats on contemporary Majuro, Marshall Islands. Environmental Management 20(3), 337-348.

Low-lying islands and atolls are particularly prone to storm surges created by tropical depressions and typhoons. This paper presents a case study of traditional and contemporary settlement patterns of Majuro, the capital of the Republic of the Marshall Islands, and discusses its vulnerability to such storm surges. The paper shows that the application of traditional knowledge extends to the realm of urban planning and that, in fact, ignoring this traditional knowledge as expressed in pre-World War II settlement patterns, exposes urban development to increased flood hazards, a risk which may exact a price too high in life and property

 

1995
Spennemann, Dirk H.R. (1995) Natural Disaster Mitigation and Cultural Heritage: a course proposal. In: Dirk H.R. Spennemann, David W.Look and Glenn D.Matthews (eds.): Proceedings of the symposium "Management of disaster mitigation and response programs for historic sites: a dialogue. San Francisco, CA. June 27-29, 1995. Johnstone Centre of Parks, Recreation and Heritage, Charles Sturt University, Albury, NSW, Australia. [URL href="http://life.csu.edu.au/ ~dspennem/ Disaster_SFO/ SFO_Course.html]
Spennemann, Dirk H.R. and David G. Green (in press) A special interest network for natural hazard mitigation for cultural heritage sites. In: Dirk H.R. Spennemann, David W.Look and Glenn D.Matthews (eds.): Proceedings of the symposium "Management of disaster mitigation and response programs for historic sites: a dialogue. San Francisco, CA. June 27-29, 1995. Johnstone Centre of Parks, Recreation and Heritage, Charles Sturt University, Albury, NSW, Australia. [URL http://life.csu.edu.au/ ~dspennem/ Disaster_SFO/ SFO_SIN_Proposal.html]
Spennemann, Dirk H.R. (1995) A view from the rim: a summation paper. In: Dirk H.R. Spennemann, David W.Look and Glenn D.Matthews (eds.) : Proceedings of the symposium "Management of disaster mitigation and response programs for historic sites: a dialogue. San Francisco, CA. June 27-29, 1995. Johnstone Centre of Parks, Recreation and Heritage, Charles Sturt University, Albury, NSW, Australia. [URL http://life.csu.edu.au/ ~dspennem/ Disaster_SFO/ SFO_Summary_Paper.html]
Spennemann, Dirk H.R. (1995) Conservation management and mitigation of the Impact of tropical cyclones on archaeological sites: examples from Tonga, the Marshall Islands and Australia. Paper read at: Management of disaster mitigation and response programs for historic sites: a dialogue. San Francisco, CA. June 27-29, 1995. San Francisco, CA: U.S. National Park Service, Western Regional Office
Spennemann, Dirk H.R. (1995) Dreading the next wave: non-traditional settlement patterns and typhoon threats on contemporary Majuro, Marshall Islands. Natural Hazards Research Center Working Papers, Natural Hazards Research and Applications Information Center, University of Colorado, Boulder, Co
 
 
 


This document forms part of the hypertext curriculum vitaeof Dr. Dirk H.R. Spennemann (Charles Sturt University, Albury, Australia). If you arrived at this page through a search engine you may wish to call up http://csusap.csu.edu.au/~dspennem which will link you to the top of the frame-based CV.